Court Date Set For BARR Dispute

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On Dec. 2, a federal court will hear AOPA and NBAA argue in support of their position that airplane operators should have the option to keep their flight data private. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will preside over the case. AOPA and NBAA said on Tuesday they hope to convince the court to overturn changes to the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program that were imposed earlier this year, which make it harder for operators to block their flight info on public websites.

"We look forward to explaining to the Court of Appeals why the government's move to severely limit the BARR program represents an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of aircraft owners and operators, a threat to the competitiveness of U.S. companies and a potential security risk to the persons aboard aircraft," said NBAA President Ed Bolen. "We are pleased that the general aviation community will soon have its day in court." The BARR program used to block flight info for anyone who asked, but faced with a Freedom of Information request, the government has taken the position that only a serious security concern can justify keeping the data out of the public domain.